The New England Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-31 in their Week 10 matchup to complete the season sweep, and the Pats are now one of five AFC teams with a 6-3 record. Here is a breakdown of some stats to note from Sunday’s game.
1. Alfonzo Dennard has enjoyed a good rookie campaign thus far, but the New England Patriots corner was probably the worst defensive back in coverage on Sunday- even worse than Kyle Arrington. He allowed 85 receiving yards and was consistently beat on short and intermediate routes by Stevie Johnson. That kept the chains moving for Buffalo, and the two missed tackles from Dennard compounded the worst game we’ve seen from him as a rookie.
The good news is that the Patriots as a whole (15 in total) missed tackles all over the place, and rookie corners often play much worse than Dennard did on Sunday. It was an ugly performance for him, but it could have been worse.
2. Rob Ninkovich earned a -7.0 grade from the Pro Football Focus for a penalty, a couple of missed tackles, and the fact that he provided almost no pass rush. Ninkovich was terrible in every facet of the game, and he was uncharacteristically awful in run defense. Fellow DE Chandler Jones wasn’t any better, and the Buffalo Bills had eight carries for 43 yards and a TD when running it off the left side.
3. Stevan Ridley had 12 carries for 86 yards when running up the middle. That Ryan Wendell guy is pretty good, yeah?
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a 75% completion percentage on short and intermediate throws towards the left side of the field. Most of that was on Kyle Arrington and the linebackers. That was not one of Jerod Mayo’s finer performances in what has been a great year for him, and don’t even get me started on how poor Brandon Spikes was in coverage.
5. This note comes from PFF (link above). Fitzpatrick had a 110.1 QB Rating when under pressure.
6. Danny Woodhead was the model of efficiency, because he had a successful play 71.4% of the time with four catches for 46 yards and a TD. His lone carry went for a 15-yard TD that was sprung by some terrific blocking.
7. Stevie Johnson led all receivers with 9.6 yards per target, and it wasn’t even close. This was one of the best games Johnson had against the Pats, and he had four catches on five targets for 55 yards on short and intermediate throws to the right side of the field. That’s an average of 11 yards per attempt for Fitzpatrick, and, again, a lot of that damage was done against Alfonzo Dennard.
8. Jerod Mayo made tackles in five of the seven different areas of the field in run defense. You know who was second? McCourty, who did so in four. One thing that goes unnoticed by some is his effectiveness in run support, which is another reason why he can transition so well to safety and is as good there as he is at cornerback.
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